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Ashyn

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Ashyn
Ashyn.jpg
Shards None
Investitures Unknown, disease-based
System Rosharan system[1]
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Silence Divine
This page or section needs to be updated with new information for Rhythm of War!
Be aware that in its current state, it may not include all additional content yet.

There is Ashyn, the burning planet, which suffered a cataclysm long ago.

—From Khriss's essay on the Rosharan System[2]

Ashyn is a planet in the Rosharan system that will be the setting of The Silence Divine.[3] It is the first planet from Roshar's sun.[1]

Geography and Ecology

In the past, Ashyn was largely Earth-like, with animals such as birds and horses, and plants like grapes.[4][5] Although it is not known what the ecology of Ashyn was precisely like, it likely closely resembled the Shinovar region on Roshar, as the plants and animals there are ones brought by the original refugees.[6] On Roshar, weather patterns are referred to as "seasons", despite not matching seasons in length, cause, or pattern. This presumably indicates that "season" is a linguistic holdover from Ashyn and therefore that Ashyn has seasons, and, by extension, axial tilt.[7][8][5]

An ecological catastrophe in the past has destroyed most of the planet, annihilating its biosphere.[9] In the present day, the planet is mostly barren, with a few fertile patches.[3] The planet is called "the burning planet" but it is unknown what this means for its geography.[2]

Population

Ashyn is sparsely populated by humans. There were far more of them in the past, although whether their presence on the planet predates the Shattering is uncertain. At some point, they used the Dawnshards and/or Surgebinding to destroy most of Ashyn.[9][6] Some people fled the destruction and traveled to the neighboring planet of Roshar, while others stayed in small pockets of habitable land.[10] In the present day, this land includes the floating cities Ashyn is known for.[2]

For modern Rosharans, Ashyn is a mythical place, known only as the Tranquiline Halls.[11] On Ashyn, there are some people who are aware of Roshar.[12] Their level of technology relative to one another is difficult to establish.

Magic

Ashyn currently has no Shard, but Odium possibly spent some time there, as he followed the Ashynites to Roshar.[13][14] Like most of the Rosharan system, the planet is 10-centric.[15]

The magic of Ashyn is disease-based. As the bacteria and viruses there seek to keep their hosts alive, they provide them with access to supernatural abilities, which differ depending on the disease. The Ashynites harness this by lowering their immune systems and deliberately infecting themselves to gain various powers.[16][17]

Very little is known about the specific forms of magic granted by the illnesses, though a few have been described. The most important from the survival standpoint causes hearing loss while allowing its host to manipulate gravity. As such, it's crucial to the functioning of Ashyn's flying cities, which are kept aloft by conclaves of people infected with it.[18] Other abilities granted by diseases include flight or passing through walls.[19][20] The ability lasts as long as the person is infected by the disease, and disappears when their immune system overcomes it.[20]

Ashyn's magic system was not sickness-based from the start.[21] The original magic, which brought about the cataclysm, wasn't exactly like Surgebinding, but shared the same basic principles.[22] It might've also been related to Roshar's Old Magic.[23] The Eila Stele mentions humans using the powers of spren and Surges, suggesting that the shift to bacteria and viruses as the focus of Ashynite magic might've happened some time after most people have already evacuated from the planet.[9]

The symbiotic relation between the bacteria and their hosts is similar to that of the Aviars and the worms that grant them powers from First of the Sun, albeit here the humans interact with the magic-granting microorganisms directly rather than through intermediaries.

Development

This page or section contains details from the unpublished work The Silence Divine!
This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot of any currently released book for the reader. It should also be considered uncanonical and will potentially completely change in the future.

The earliest reference to Ashyn, though not under that name, can be found in Brandon's blog post from March 10, 2006. Back then, he considered it the sillier of his two ideas for magic disease stories, the more serious of which would involve a doctor combating an illness with various magical effects on its victims.[16] The "silly" story would later be developed into The Silence Divine, though for now, only an early version of the first chapter exists in public (it can be found here). There, several aspects of Ashyn have been established, though their current canonicity is debatable.

In the story, Ashynites do not have fabrials, but appear to have discovered gunpowder, as some are mentioned carrying flintlock pistols. Abilities granted by diseases include prophecy and changing the color of objects, and are accompanied by sometimes-dangerous side effects, such as physical weakness, hallucinations and deadly fevers. Occasionally, there are some symptoms left behind after the disease is over, called Echoes, which take some time to fade, or don't disappear at all. People who carry the diseases are called Incubators.[24]

Notes

  1. a b Map of Roshar system
  2. a b c Arcanum Unbounded - The Rosharan System#
  3. a b SpoCon 2013
    Arcanum - 2013-07-10#
  4. Stuttgart signing
    Arcanum - 2019-05-17#
  5. a b Idaho Falls signing
    Arcanum - 2018-12-29#
  6. a b Oathbringer chapter 113#
  7. The Way of Kings chapter 22#
  8. A Memory of Light Seattle Signing
    Arcanum - 2013-02-12#
  9. a b c Oathbringer chapter 115 epigraph#
  10. Oathbringer signing Portland
    Arcanum - 2017-11-16#
  11. Oathbringer Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-21#
  12. Skyward release party
    Arcanum - 2018-11-06#
  13. Words of Radiance Chicago signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-22#
  14. Oathbringer chapter 117 epigraph#
  15. Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing
    Arcanum - 2016-11-30#
  16. a b Brandon's Blog 2006
    Arcanum - 2006-03-10#
  17. Ad Astra 2017
    Arcanum - 2017-05-05#
  18. Idaho Falls signing
    Arcanum - 2018-12-29#
  19. /r/fantasy AMA 2011
    Arcanum - 2011-09-01#
  20. a b Phoenix Comicon 2013
    Arcanum - 2013-05-24#
  21. Skyward Pre-Release AMA
    Arcanum - 2018-10-04#
  22. Oathbringer London signing
    Arcanum - 2017-11-28#
  23. Stuttgart signing
    Arcanum - 2019-05-17#
  24. Words of Radiance Los Angeles signing
    Arcanum - 2014-03-05#
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